We’re continually inspired by the children and families we meet, today we share Logan’s story, as told by his mum and dad, Pam & Roddy.
Logan joined our family when we adopted him as a tiny baby, he was five months old.
After Logan’s first birthday, we started to notice a few changes. He would no longer hold his drink cup, his good sleeping pattern completely changed and at his first year review, the doctors noticed he wasn’t sitting up on his own and he wasn’t crawling. At the time, we just thought, ‘Everyone develops at different stages, so we weren’t overly worried. To us, he was a calm, happy baby. Then at his two year check, he was assessed and shortly afterwards received an early diagnosis for autism.
When we received Logan’s diagnosis it was no surprise as we knew something wasn’t quite right, but it was still a shock be told & left us wondering where do we go from here?
It was Logan’s speech and language therapist who recommended the Circle Centre to us (it was Puzzle Centre back then). At the time Logan was also attending our local pre-school where he had some 1:1 support. They were great with him, but when his 1:1 funding was pulled, we moved him to Circle Centre full time, it was so obvious by then that he needed more specialist support.
At pre-school, Logan just didn’t quite fit in – he didn’t mix with the other children, he wouldn’t join circle time and he wouldn’t sit still. When the other children lined up in a queue, Logan would be running around the playground.
We would find ourselves apologising for Logan all the time. He’d go into pre-school, find the toys he liked and throw them everywhere. The other kids would either go in and sit down or they’d cry about leaving their parents. Logan didn’t do these things. When he went to Circle Centre, it was obvious from the start that the other children were more like him.
At Circle Logan was never singled out. He didn’t stand out as different, he just fitted in there and he was always included.
They just understood and it was always calm. They’re well equipped, they would know straight away what Logan needed. Some days Logan would go in there and be like a small tornado and they’d just calmly deal with it. As parents, we never felt judged, Logan was never judged and we didn’t need to apologise anymore.
We’d see progress in Logan’s communication in little ways. At home, he would take us by the hand to the fridge when he was hungry, he would sit in his chair when we asked him to, and even if it was for a split second. We were grateful for these small but huge change. This was progress!
Logan is 7 now. He talks using a few single key words, but he always understands what we say to him. He gives you a big kiss to tell you he’s sorry if he’s done something he shouldn’t have, and he always knows how to ask for his Smarties!
Circle Centre aren’t there just for the Children, they were always there for us as parents too.
Looking back on those early years, after Logan’s diagnosis, we definitely felt we had more support from the staff at Circle than we got from anywhere else. They were always so understanding, and they had so much experience that they were able to share with us – they helped to make sense of things and they helped us accept Logan’s needs were always going to be different. They really took time to get to know Logan.
We had regular reviews with the staff to talk about Logan’s progress they’d always listen to us, and they gave us things to try with Logan at home. We still miss that end of day chat time with them.
When it was time for Logan to move on to his next school Booker Park, we knew the transition was going to be different because it was during Covid. It was good to know lots of children from Circle Centre were moving on to their next journey at Booker Park together. That was a seal of approval for us, it really helped.
Circle prepared us for Booker Park, they helped us be more accepting and they definitely helped us understand Logan, his condition and what we’re going to need for him. They opened our eyes to a whole new world. They helped us feel ‘normal’ and like we weren’t alone, plus we got to meet other parents who were like us.
We’re still friends with some of the families we met – we go swimming with two of Logan’s friends every Sunday. It’s a great support to have each other and the boys still go to school together.
Logan was with Circle for two very important years of his life and ours. We will always be grateful to them and so glad we were able to have that experience and support for our family.